NU and Kazakh Academy of Sciences: big plans for cooperation

President of the National Academy of Sciences under the President of Kazakhstan, Dr. Kunsulu Zakaria visited NU on Jan. 18.
“Nazarbayev University and the National Academy of Sciences must strengthen cooperation to build up the country’s scientific potential,” said Dr. Kunsulu Zakaria during her visit to NU. The purpose of the visit was to learn about the activities of the leading Central Asian research university, its laboratories, and the projects of young Kazakh scientists, as well as to establish cooperation in key areas of domestic science, such as mining.
During the visit, the delegation led by Dr. Zakaria met with the NU leadership, saw the master plan of the campus, and learned about the work going on in the advanced laboratories of the School of Mining and Geosciences, as well as the National Laboratory Astana. The delegation had also seen the resources of the Energy Space Laboratory and the developments of the Institute of Smart Systems and Artificial Intelligence (ISSAI).
“On behalf of the Academy, I would like to express gratitude to Nazarbayev University for its contribution to science and education in Kazakhstan. As part of the task set by the President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to develop the mining industry, we aim to improve cooperation with NU and its School of Mining and Geosciences to contribute to the economy of our country. I would especially like to note your developments in various fields. We have sufficient potential to collaborate,” noted Dr. Zakaria during the meeting.
This year Kazakhstan is celebrating the 125th birth anniversary of the famous Kazakh geologist, founder of Kazakhstan's Academy of Sciences, Kanysh Satpayev. This will also give impetus to the popularization of scientific developments in this industry. Dr. Zakaria invited the teaching staff and the leadership of NU to actively participate in the anniversary celebrations.
In this regard, the delegation visited three laboratories at the School of Mining and Geosciences - thin section lab; sedimentology and petroleum geology lab; mineralogy and petrography lab. Here, NU scientists produce high-quality thin sections, thick sections, and polished sections from any type of sample, as well as carry out a comprehensive analysis of various types of sediments that influence the formation and characteristics of sedimentary rocks.
ISSAI researchers showed Dr. Zakaria the latest developments in AI. Previously, after collecting and analyzing the largest database of voices in the Kazakh language, ISSAI scientists developed the first automatic speech recognition (ASR) model for the state language, and then created the first Kazakh-text-to-speech (KazakhTTS) corpus. The President of the National Academy of Sciences especially appreciated the work of the multilingual speech recognition system for Turkic languages, two-way machine translation into 4 languages and other projects in the field of AI.
“NU pays great attention to high research standards and the promotion of Kazakhstan's science. This allowed the young university to enter the top 30% of global science-intensive universities in the Times Higher Education ranking in just 13 years. We support cooperation with young scientists and professors of the National Academy to promote science and exchange experience. NU is working diligently to create conditions for attracting young doctoral students to work for the benefit of domestic science, including those who went to receive their degrees abroad,” noted NU acting President Dr. Ilesanmi Adesida, thanking the Academy representatives for the visit.
At the end of the visit, young scientists from NU's National Laboratory Astana presented their projects in the field of advanced materials for high-performance energy storage devices, including lithium-ion batteries and water batteries. The leadership of NU thanked the delegation for the visit and assured them that they will continue high-quality integration with the global scientific and educational community and closer synergy with Kazakh universities in the development of the education system and improving scientific potential.